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Basics of Inbound Marketing

Basics of Inbound Marketing

Posted on Jul 25, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Optimizing your website’s keywords, call-to-actions, and landing pages are fundamental in search engine optimization and getting started with inbound marketing. It takes time to rank higher through organic SEO methods, but inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of capturing the attention of high-quality prospects. The second most important contributor to organic search engine optimization is producing blog content that is knowledgeable on topics within your industry and valuable to your ideal customer. Optimizing your website for conversion and creating content that that resonates with your readers will set you up for continuously bringing in high-quality leads.

Attract

Creating in-depth buyer personas is the first step in understanding your ideal customer, their wants, their needs and their problems. Offering useful information on your website and in blog posts that is tailored to your ideal prospect creates trust and credibility, and ultimately resonates with readers. Developing content that appeals to different, specific target audiences demonstrates knowledge across your industry and can continue bringing readers back for more information in the long run. Publishing valuable content on a blog, along with utilizing keywords and optimizing landing pages, is the most fruitful way to rank organically in Google search results. Once you’ve optimized your website and content management system, pushing content out on social media platforms will drive high-quality visitors to your landing pages and ultimately increase conversion rates. As you outline your buyer persona, keep in mind which social media channels your ideal prospects hang out on, as this should be your primary focus on where to push out blog posts.

Convert

In order to ensure you’re attracting high-quality visitors that will convert to paying customers, you need some sort of information on who is reading your content—this is where optimizing your landing pages becomes crucial. Your landing page needs to consist of a form where readers have to enter information such as their name, email address, and job title to access your content. Construct messages specific to your ideal prospect and A/B test call-to-actions so that you know what is most effective in leading people to enter more information. Landing pages need to be tailored to assure the reader they will be receiving beneficial information, and optimized with keywords and high-quality information in order to increase conversions. Give them an incentive to fill out a landing page such as receiving a free downloadable like an eBook, webinar, how-to guide, or percentage off of their first order. As you embed keywords throughout the content on your website it will increase search engine ranking, thus driving more traffic to your website.

Nurture

Once you’ve attracted the right prospects and converted prospects into leads, it’s important to convert leads to customers at the right time. Keep track of the information you’ve obtained on each lead through a customer relationship management system. This allows you to better engage with each lead, and offer more tailored information specific to their needs until they are ready to convert to a paying customer. If a prospect reads your blog, clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, downloads your ebook and still isn’t ready to become a customer, have a series of emails on deck to nurture them and offer them additional valuable information for free. This additional information should be tailored to their needs and their previous actions, which will tell you what you need to offer them.

Inbound marketing takes time but is more beneficial for your business in the long run rather than pay per click advertising methods. Offering valuable information for free builds trust, brings customers back for more information, and creates loyal customers that will stand by your brand in the long run. Do you need help with your inbound marketing efforts? Contact us here!

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Identifying Your Target Market

Identifying Your Target Market

Posted on Mar 30, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Identifying your target market isn’t easy, and it takes time. Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to get in front of them, grab their attention and give them a relatable reason for why they should choose your product or service. This is where it gets tricky–it is up to you to also give your customer something in return for their attention. In other words, you had better know your audience.

Who are you?
Okay, let’s take a step back. Ask yourself, as a company: what is your position in your industry, what are your values and why do you do what you do. Meet with co-workers in other departments, and ask them what the brand means to them. Discuss your company’s culture, and dig into building a complete understanding so that you can incorporate those values into your marketing strategy. Your goal here is to become well versed enough to tell your story, and genuinely exhibit who you are as a company.

Once you have a solid foundation and understanding of your company, identify what exactly sets you apart from your competitors. At this point, you should perform a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses should be internal, while opportunities and threats should be external. Being as specific as possible when addressing each element of the SWOT analysis will greatly enhance how you understand your position in the industry.

If you’ve yet to set goals and objectives, do that here. Begin with a specific long-term goal, and then narrow it down. Identify quarterly, monthly and weekly objectives for your efforts, as well as how you define success for each. This requires results to be quantifiable, in a way that they can be closely monitored.

Identifying your target market:
Now that you’re prepared, you can begin identifying your segments. You should create segments so that you understand the often subtle differences in marketing to each specific segment. If you have data or other insights–use them. Otherwise, ask yourself who will benefit from your product or service. Explore every demographic and be as narrow as possible. Once you have a list of segments, create personas for each segment.

When you create personas you should be as specific as possible. Identify their demographics, passions, interests, worries, and goals. What are their lifestyles? What are their needs? Once you have a persona, map out your customer’s journey. The Content Marketing Institute explains that their journey is one of the most important steps in understanding your target market and how to reach them. You are tracking down their daily tasks and what they might search online. Once you understand their journey, you should have enough of an idea to identify what channels they use, and what sort of message is most effective in reaching them.

Tracking Data:
Once you begin engaging with your target market, you need to track the effectiveness of your efforts. This provides insight into what is working and what isn’t. It is extremely important to make sure you are reaching the right people in the right way. For this reason, most marketers perform A/B split tests, by delivering different messages to smaller subsets of the same segment, to determine which is more effective. When you pinpoint what is working, it should then become easier to make adjustments where necessary so that your brand remains engaged with your target market.

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SXSW 2017: Key Takeaways on Digital Marketing

SXSW 2017: Key Takeaways on Digital Marketing

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

The world of marketing is ever-evolving, and though there is no universal marketing strategy that will “just work” for every type of company, some marketing professionals make it seem like they possess the secret formula. Now that digital marketing has taken over, there are many new aspects of marketing that we must take into consideration when creating our marketing strategies. I went to multiple masterclasses on digital marketing that were held during weekend one of SXSW, and I’m here to share my key takeaways on where to focus your efforts when creating your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing:

Lawrence O’Connor spoke on the fundamentals of marketing and shared in-depth, valuable information on how to understand your target market. While I found the entire masterclass extremely valuable, these are the key points I took away when focusing on digital marketing:

  1. Know your business. Ask yourself these questions: Why does my business exist? Why should anyone care? What am I not willing to compromise? What are my goals and how will I get there?
  2. Don’t skip testing and keep track of your data. Try both qualitative and quantitative testing. For qualitative you can focus on surveys and interviews and for quantitative focus on user engagement. When focusing on engagement, always pay attention to your analytics. If you are constantly recording your analytics, you will see what is working for you and what’s not.
  3. Recognize which platform your target market uses most. From your data, you will see trends emerge for where the most engagement is occurring. You can then increase your engagement with your core-users, through strategic interactions in social media.

Creating Your Social Media Strategy:

Vin Clancy, social media expert and owner of Traffic and Copy, shared his insight on how to grow your business using only social media. Through his in-depth presentation covering social media strategies, the main focal points that stuck out for me were:

  1. Add value. Bring your expertise to the table and offer your knowledge. Nothing beats staying genuine and true to who you are.
  2. Show up every day. Posting every single day on social media keeps you relevant, and people will create a connection with you. Keep your content fresh and relevant, and focused when engaging with your followers.
  3. Use content scheduling. There are multiple websites such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Spredfast that you can schedule content up to months in advance on multiple platforms at a time. These are great tools to use when you are trying to reach your audience through multiple platforms, on a daily basis.

Both of these masterclasses dug way deeper into these marketing strategies and covered topics of which I could only scratch the surface with this post. These key takeaways will help in understanding the basics of digital marketing, and are essential to the early development of your marketing strategies.

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Our Top 4 Brand & Marketing Panels at SXSW

Our Top 4 Brand & Marketing Panels at SXSW

Posted on Mar 09, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Keeping up with target audiences can be a challenge in today’s world since social media was brought into the mix. This year, South by Southwest is hosting some of the most intelligent brand and marketing specialists. Technology is booming and more fast-paced than ever before, so the demand for insight and guidance has never been greater. At these four panels you will hear directly from industry leaders on how to build your brand, grab your target audience and keep their attention. These events range from beginner to intermediate, and are perfect if you want to delve deep into the newest marketing trends.

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Is Your Website’s Content Readable?

Is Your Website’s Content Readable?

Posted on Apr 05, 2016 by Jenna Meltzer

As experienced web developers, we know that the heart of a great website is found in the user experience– the satisfaction that your visitors receive when navigating through the pages on your website. One of the major parts of fulfilling a holistic user experience is the readability of the content on each webpage. It is crucial that the language and visual appearance of the content is easily digestible. If a user cannot comprehend what your organization is trying to communicate, it is not as effective, which can decrease traffic and in the end, lead to a loss in revenue. If you are unsure if your website’s content is readable or not, here are three easy tips to use:

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#3: Incorporate Appropriate and Relevant Content

#3: Incorporate Appropriate and Relevant Content

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 by Tanner Hertzog

It shouldn’t be a shock that having appropriate and relevant content on your website will aid to its overall success. The reason we mention it, though, is because often times people are not quite sure what “appropriate” really means for their brand, and why it is so valuable. With quality content comes not only quality engagement with your readers and target market but also increased search engine rankings for your web content as well. Sounds pretty valuable doesn’t it? Lets break it down more and take a closer look at why all of this is so important.

Consumer Engagement

The first thing you should think about when trying to write content for your website is, “Why do we have this website?” You need to understand what you are trying to accomplish with the site, and then mold your content to accompany those goals. Every time you write copy for a site, you should aim for it to entertain, inform, and entice the reader. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on SEO, if readers are not interested in reading it, they will leave the site. The reader and your goals should ALWAYS be the center of the writing, no matter what you are discussing on the page.

You see this over and over again were a company depends too heavily upon the weight and popularity of their brand to drive traffic to their site. Of course, it’s great that they have established their name or product in the minds of the public. But if you have one competitor who has done the same, and also provides quality written content on each page of their website, you’ve just lost a share of the market for no good reason.

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